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As parents, we are sometimes so focused on imparting knowledge to our children that we forget that learning is a two-way process. There are so many things we can learn from our tots. The key is to let ourselves see the world through their lens and revisit the challenges, joys and messiness of childhood. As your children mature, so does your relationship with them, even to the point of developing into a deep friendship. Here are six valuable things your children can teach you.
1. Foster a sense of wonderment
If you’ve ever watched your toddler tinker with new objects or wander through a garden, you’ll know it’s a beautiful thing to witness. Kids can be taken by things that we consider mundane. Their sense of wonderment about life’s simplest things – such as new sounds, animals, people, and lights – are a reminder to us to seek joy in the small things in life. Fostering a sense of wonderment and joy in each moment – or at least being open to it – can boost your happiness levels immensely and allow you to bond more deeply with your child.
2. Live in the moment
Without the need or conditioning to constantly worry about the stresses of life, children are a great example of how to live in the moment. Our children don’t stress about the past or the future; they aren’t constantly on their mobile devices and they seek joy in each moment. Spending time with your child can teach you a great deal about presence and mindfulness, both in your relationship with your child and with yourself.
3. Fearlessly try new things
Climbing trees, somersaulting, making new friends and more – our children are fearless by nature. Kids often take a stab at a new hobby such as drawing, singing, or dancing without fear of judgment. Learning from a child’s natural fearlessness is a great lesson for any parent. This is especially useful to keep in mind as many adults get stuck in their comfort zones and are unwilling to try new things.
4. Laugh, laugh, laugh
It’s safe to say that children are naturally joyful at heart. They can laugh, giggle, snicker and chuckle until their energy runs dry. Our children can bring a great amount of joy into our lives and they can reignite our playful, child-like side. Laughing at silly, nonsensical things can be especially refreshing as is laughing at yourself.
5. Learn to be less judgmental
Our little ones often don’t pass judgment of themselves, others and situations until they are taught otherwise. This sense of openness can help us pay attention to the ways in which we hold judgment, allowing us to be more open with ourselves and the people in our lives.
6. Say what you mean
Many children don’t have a filter when it comes to saying what’s on their minds and in their hearts. While this can sometimes result in embarrassing moments, it is a welcome reminder to be more honest in expressing ourselves. Many adults have the tendency to mask their vulnerability and end up being tightly wound and overly self-reliant. Learn from your children by saying simple things like “I love you” and “I need help” when you really mean it.